The Character of Gordon College
Description and History
Gordon College is the only nondenominational Christian college in New England. It offers 38 majors and confers three separate undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music.
Gordon was founded in Boston in 1889 by a small group of Christians who recognized the need for educated leadership in churches and society. They organized what was first called the Boston Missionary Training Institute. Chief among the founders, and the first president, was the Reverend Dr. Adoniram Judson Gordon, a prominent Boston pastor whose name the school adopted after his death in 1895.
Gordon developed into a liberal arts college with a graduate seminary and moved to its present several-hundred-acre North Shore campus in 1955. In 1970 the divinity school was merged with the Conwell School of Theology from Philadelphia to form the new and separate Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary located in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
In 1996 Gordon College began a graduate program in education, in 2003 added a graduate program in music education, in 2016 added a graduate program in leadership, and in 2018 added a graduate program in financial analysis. Gordon confers the Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Music Education, Master of Science in Financial Analysis, and Education Specialist.
Gordon College is located 25 miles north of Boston on several hundred acres of land in the North Shore communities of Wenham, Manchester and Hamilton. The campus has three ponds, and borders Chebacco Woods. The nearby ocean and the mountains of New Hampshire provide both summer and winter recreational activities for Gordon students. Gordon is ideally located for a liberal arts college; museums and libraries of metropolitan Boston and the North Shore area provide opportunities for research and student cooperative experiences, while many historical sites nearby afford unique insights into the political, social and literary histories of the United States.
Many acres of undeveloped land on Gordon’s campus provide a laboratory for study in the natural sciences. The private and public schools of the North Shore communities make available a variety of philosophical and methodological approaches to the education of children. Opportunities to become involved in business and research abound, especially in electronic and research laboratories on the North Shore.
The School of Graduate, Professional and Extended Studies Mission
Gordon College Mission: Gordon College strives to graduate men and women distinguished by intellectual maturity and Christian character, committed to lives of service and prepared for leadership worldwide.
School of Graduate, Professional and Extended Studies Mission: The mission of the Gordon College School of Graduate, Professional and Extended Studies is to provide a Christ-centered education to meet the needs of diverse learners-reaching high school students who desire to begin their collegiate career early, residential students interested in exploring off-campus opportunities through global and experiential learning, adult learners seeking to complete undergraduate degrees in a hybrid or fully online format, and individuals interested in graduate degrees.
In order to fulfill this mission, in May 2019, the Gordon College Board of Trustees approved a resolution to establish the School of Graduate, Professional, and Extended Studies, which officially launched in August 2020. The School of Graduate, Professional, and Extended Studies includes the following programs:
- Pre-collegiate academic programming-both for-credit and not-for credit options, including dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment programs for high school students;
- Fully online and/or hybrid degree options;
- Prior-learning assessment modules;
- Professional development and certificate programs;
- Post-baccalaureate programs;
- All graduate programs except Graduate Education and Graduate Music Education, which remain in the School of Education;
- Summer term and Winter Term curricular options.
Each of the above programs is governed by the Council for Graduate, Professional and Extended Studies.
The School of Education Mission
The Gordon College Graduate Education Program strives to partner with the community in preparing teachers and leaders of integrity, discernment and effectiveness through rigorous scholarship and personalized mentoring.
The Gordon College School of Education is dedicated to:
- Investigating the highest critical standard of current research and educational theory
- Providing a forum in which educational philosophies and practices are synthesized, analyzed and evaluated
- Meeting and exceeding all teaching standards required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Integrating ethics reflective of our Christian heritage
- Fostering a culture of community and open dialog
- Engaging respectfully with the many cultures represented in schools and society
Foundations of Gordon’s Philosophy of Education
Gordon College, an independent liberal arts and sciences institution, is distinctively Christian in its educational philosophy and mode of operation. It stresses quality in teaching and employs teacher-scholars who mentor students in the education and development of the whole person. Students from many denominations, states and territories, and foreign countries are represented in the coeducational student body. Gordon is a community of learners who seek to understand themselves, their community, culture and world from within the framework of a worldview and life-view derived from their common commitment to Christ and the tenets of historic Christianity.
As a Christian community Gordon College seeks to maintain itself by fostering ideals and standards consistent with a Christian worldview. The College has established a Statement of Life and Conduct (see Appendix B) which sets forth the assumptions and principles which should guide the conduct of responsible Christians and the specific behavioral expectations for members of the Gordon College community.
The use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco is not permitted on the campus or adjacent properties, or at any College-related activity. Members of the Gordon community are not to use, possess or cause to be brought on campus narcotic or hallucinogenic drugs, including marijuana.
Although these and other rules are valuable for orderly community life, they do not dominate or express the spirit of Gordon College. As a community, the College is deeply committed to mutual support, freedom and responsibility, all of which are essential for the practical expression of God’s love.
Accreditations and Affiliations
Gordon College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, a nongovernmental, nationally recognized organization whose affiliated institutions include elementary schools through collegiate institutions offering postgraduate instruction. Such accreditation indicates that the institution meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality applied through periodic peer group reviews. Accredited schools or colleges must have available the necessary resources to achieve stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, must be substantially doing so and must give reasonable evidence they will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.
Accreditation by the New England Commission applies to the institution as a whole. Inquiries regarding status of an institution’s accreditation by the New England Commission should be directed to the administrative staff of the College. Individuals may also contact the Commission:
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
New England Commission of Higher Education
209 Burlington Road
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730-1433
781 271 0022
Gordon College is also accredited, certified or approved by the following agencies:
- Interstate Certification Compact
- National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification
- Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
- United States Government (Gordon College is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students and is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education for the training of veterans and their dependents.)
- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
- National Association of Schools of Music